The Pawn Broker

July 13th Celebrates – The Pawn Broker Business

The pawn broking history is very extensive, researching this story I found out, that pawn broking existed in Ancient Greece, during the Roman Empire. As the empire spread its culture, pawn broking went with it. Likewise, in the East, as China became a model enterprise as far back as 3000 years ago.

Queen Isabella is reported to have pawned her royal jewels to finance Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World, but what do pawn brokers do?

The pawning process begins when a customer brings an item into a pawn shop. Common items pawned or, in some instances, sold outright by customers include jewelry, electronics, collectibles, musical instruments and tools.

In some states in the U.S., pawnshops with firearms licenses sell pistols and rifles to customers who meet state and federal acquisition criteria. In other states and other countries, such as Canada, Ireland and the UK, pawnshops do not sell firearms.

If an item has been stolen, the pawnbroker assumes the risk that an item might have been stolen. However, laws in many jurisdictions protect both the community and broker from unknowingly handling stolen goods (also known as fencing).

The Buyer beware, in some cases a pawnbroker gives you a pawn receipt which you’ll need to keep to prove you own the item.

When you’ve repaid the money owed you get the item back. But if you don’t repay the loan after the agreed period the pawnbroker can sell your item to recover the cash.

Did you know pawn brokers have a symbol?

The symbol for pawn broking is three gold spheres suspended from a bar. The pawnbroker symbol has been in use at least since the medieval period in Europe.

It is still used by pawnbrokers all around the world today. There are differing theories proposing how these three spheres came to represent pawn shops and pawn broking.

Although pawn broking and pawn shops have existed for thousands of years, pawn broking became synonymous with the Italian province of Lombardy, which is located in Northern Italy.

Bankers in this province built up the success of their businesses using the pawn broking business-model, which later acquired the name, Lombard banking. Lombard merchants are said to have hung three golden spheres outside their homes.

It is thought that the golden spheres originally represented three gold coins, which later were redesigned as spheres to attract more attention.

However, today’s attention today is about how on July 13th 1812, New York City was the first city in the United States to conduct laws and regulations in the pawning business.

In lieu of today’s story, as we hear, (Cha-Ching) from the cash register, is how I would like to end this story today!

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

J.D Mitchell Design Studio


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